Hello Dr. Friedman,
With the hair I have left (smile), I like to wear it short. After my hair transplant procedure, do I need to grow it longer to cover my donor area? Thank you for answering my question.
Dr. Friedman’s Answer:
If you want to keep your hair short over the back and sides of your scalp, you are not going to want a Follicular Unit Transplant procedure, FUT. That kind of of hair transplant involves the removal and dissection of a long donor strip which comes from the back of your head. The donor strip is divided into 1,2, 3, and 4 hair grafts which are then implanted to the recipient area. Unfortunately, this popular procedure will also leave you with a donor strip scar 4 to 10 inches in length, and if you wear your hair short, the answer is yes, it will be visible.
The good news is there is a solution to your problem and it is called FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction. An FUE procedure, quite simply, is the removal of hair grafts one at a time. It is a slow, painstaking procedure, but since we do not use a donor strip, there is no linear scar.
Follicular Unit Extraction has been around a long time, but it was too slow, too expensive, and too inefficient; 400 grafts would be considered a large procedure. FUT was faster, cheaper, and gave patients far more coverage in a single procedure, with a capability of implanting 2,500 grafts in one sitting.
FUE surgery made a comeback in the 2000s with first, the Neograft machine (a small hand-operated device), and now, the ARTAS system, which we offer patients in our office. The ARTAS is a computer-controlled, robotic-guided system that accurately and efficiently removes follicular units, one at a time, for transplanting. It has made FUE procedures faster, cheaper, and the most undetectable in the history of hair transplant surgery.
As wonderful as the ARTAS system is, it is not perfect. Although you will not have a linear scar, some patients, depending on their skin type, color, and healing process, may develop tiny white spots on their back scalp in the back, where the hair graft was removed by our ARTAS system. These little, round, white or pink scars are only visible if you shave the back of your head down to the skin.
Fortunately, you wrote in your question that you like to wear your hair “short.” If short is defined as one-quarter to one-half inch, then you will have nothing to worry about with an FUE procedure.
The ARTAS system is truly an impressive medical machine. It’s ability to perform FUE faster, more accurately, and with better results are just a few of the benefits it offers. I invite you to learn more about this incredible device by reading our ARTAS pages: Introduction : The Procedure : Advantages of ARTAS : and our special page, answers to patient’s most frequently asked questions.
— In 2014, Dr. Shelly Friedman became the first hair transplant physician in the state of Arizona to offer patients the benefits of the ARTAS system.
— Dr. Shelly Friedman, DO
Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon
Arizona’s Most Trusted Hair Loss Doctor
Named Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doc – Hair Transplant Surgeon